This morning I basically got about 25 retired PCs ready to go to the scapper and I found myself getting increasingly angry and annoyed because of all of the waste. These perfectly good PCs are basically going to head to a landfill. Maybe a few of them might find a second life somewhere but most are going to pollute the shores of some developing nation because they won’t run Microsoft Windows well enough anymore. These machines could run Linux or one of the BSDs and be perfectly serviceable.
It comes down to the fact that Microsoft Windows is just not a green operating system. At best, it is a poorly coded, bloatware behemouth, and at worst, it is designed to help PC manufacturers perpetuate the cycle of buy->planned-obsolesecense->buy more and rinse and repeat. I believe fully that Microsoft colludes with the PC builders to help them keep people buying new stuff constantly.
When I think of the good that the PCs that I basically scrapped today could do, it boils my blood. I suppose my mind was already on the fact that we are having another day approaching record heat and I am thinking about the environment. Microsoft doesn’t care about the environment at all. It just cares about sales, sales, sales. The machines I scrapped today could have built complex, feature-rich labs for kids to learn computing and for computing experiments. They could even be used in production environments just by running Ubuntu Linux.
But I digress; as I am sure I am just overly emotional at the end of another day in the Information Technology salt mines. I am reminded of my neighbor when I lived in Arizona. He made a tidy sum of money by collecting the scrapped machines and extracting the gold from them. He even recycled the silicon and probably re-sold the recycled materials. He made enough money when the day’s said and done that he could do his e-cycling full time.